Barcelona, a photo a day

ramblas

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A reflection…

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… at a chinese restaurant on the Ramblas.

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The banana man

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An artist.


A man with many names…

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Cristóbal Colón, standing proudly on his column at the bottom of the Ramblas. You might know him as Christopher Colombus, Columbus’ name in English is actually an anglicized version of the Columbus birth name. According to most accounts, Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, as Cristoforo Colombo, which is obviously much more similar to the English version than is the Spanish one.

In most of the major European languages, Columbus’ name is similar to the Italian one: It’s Christophe Colomb in French, Kristoffer Kolumbus in Swedish, Christoph Kolumbus in German and Christoffel Columbus in Dutch.

Strangely enough, he is pointing not towards America, but towards Italy. Ashamed of what became of his ‘discovery’ of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba, the massacre of the local tribes, refusing to convert, the european diseases, slavery… Maybe. Maybe not.

BTW, does anyone in America remember the italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci? Aren’t you proud to live on an ‘italian’ continent?

And what about Leif Erikson?????


Early morning

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I love going through town very early in the morning, the city is so peaceful, no tourist hordes. Here I am, at the famous Kabul backpacker, on Plaza Real, just off the Ramblas. The best time and place for a coffee!


A word of warning

DSC06084 Barcelona is a wonderful city. Like any other place, it has it’s darker side. Take the Ramblas. A fantastic place for having a stroll, watching people go by, buy some flowers… And then, you are suddenly thirsty, or hungry. Bad thing… Be aware that BCN is like any tourist place… If you want an expresso on St Mark’s square in Venice, you pay the price! Same thing here. Also, be aware that all those restaurants with tables on the Rambla, serve overpriced and awful food. With very very few exceptions. My advice, leave the Ramblas, take any street into the Raval or the Barri Gotic, much better food, much less money!!! Not to mention the dozens (yep: dozens) of pickpockets, totally fearless due at the laxity of spanish laws. Maximum 3 days in jail if they are caught, and only if they stole more than 400 euros.
Just use common sense.


Sant Jaume

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Probably the very first church in BCN… Sant Jaume, well hidden in plain sight, on Carrer Ferran, just inside the gates of Barcino, the roman Barcelona, 1 mn from the Ramblas. It was renovated in 1388, but the earliest mention dates back to 985 AD, where it was called the old church…


Il Signore Capone, capo dei capi

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Big Al is having a Havana near the Ramblas… No idea why, but his statue sits in a passage going to the Villa de Madrid square. Anybody knows more about this???

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Friendly looking chap, wouldn’t you say?


Off to work I go…

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A common sight on the ramblas, Mr Goldie Boy. Not that street entertainers left, only 15 in the morning, 15 in the afternoon, according to municipal laws and rules.


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An artist

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6th post in a row about painting, this one being about one of the painters on the Ramblas. You like painting? Check out some of my own works here, where I merge photography and painting. Painting with my camera.


Reflection

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A reflection near the big chinese restaurant on the Ramblas.


Do not…

… be afraid of the dark lady!


Wind in your hair…

…if it wasn’t for the helmets. Good way to spend a scorching summer day. Watch out for sunburns, though.


Our irish pub

Having both lived in Ireland, now and then we feel the urge for a nice Sunday roast, complete with roast potatoes, carrots, beans, parsnip, mash, and a nice piece of beef. And some Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy, which is not that Irish. So, this is where we go, Paddy Flaherty’s, probably the best of the many many Irish pubs in town.
And here’s what you get:

And a Guinness to get it down, of course! Or some uisce beatha, whiskey.


Ice cream times

Yes, ice cream times are back, although we have a few rainy days coming up. But it’s finally nice and warm!!!

Our World Tuesday!


Walking down the Ramblas…

… is always a great pleasure, watching people, street entertainers, animals, flowers… Haven’t done it much lately, too cold, too tired, too busy… Any reason. Got a foot problem right now, quite painful, so I’m not going out much lately, just to work. Anyway, now that the nice spring days are coming back, will try doing it a bit more.
Oh yeah: got a thing for cacti!


Shadow play

One of the buildings along the Ramblas, in the sun.


Looking up…

… you can see so many marvelous things.

Our world on tuesday, right here.


Mister Blue Sky(watch Friday!)

None other than Mister Christopher Columbus himself, who graciously accepted to pose for Skywatch Friday. Very nice of him. Mille grazie, Signore Colombo! Did anybody tell you that you’re looking towards Italy? America is right behind you.

And happy 11.11.11 to everybody!!! Will think of you all at eleven minutes past eleven.

Other news. I have been struggling with my health lately, and my good doctor just gave me 3  1/2 weeks of forced holidays. Therefore I will finally browze your blogs again, whenever I’ll be feeling better. 

(Video removed as it seemed to have a virus attached)


Playing around

Been playing around lately with a panorama maker program. Here is something I did yesterday afternoon on the Rambla, 5 photos put together, 18.5 MB… Click on the picture to see it bigger, it is really worth it!


Just another museum.

Fed up walking around in the sun, too hot for the beach? Here is an idea: the Museum of Erotica, in front of the Boqueria market. You get a free drink,and Wifi, how’s that?


Welcome, strangers!

Had some visitors yesterday, officials from the wax museum on planet Spielberg Beta 3 Omicron… Welcome, strangers, this is my world!

Photo courtesy of Mandy


Post 750: the flower stalls on the Rambla


The lights on the Ramblas

These magnificent modernist lamps illuminate the Ramblas every night.


Shall I?

I shall!

My World Tuesday!


Get yourself a cactus, and love him!

For sale on the Ramblas right now. Save a cactus!


Man at work…

… and he’s good!


Shouting at oranges

El Señor Iniesta, famous football player from the Barça, seen shouting at oranges on the Ramblas. Why would you shout at oranges?


Any idea?

Most of you bloggers have probably been through this… What to post today? Well, here I am, tired from the weekend, tired from this Monday, coming home, feeding the cat, cleaning his litter, checking my mail, posting on my blog. But what???

One cup of tea later, here is the result: some flowers from one of the florists on the Ramblas. La solution de facilite, as we say in french. Hope you’ll enjoy them. I couldn’t think of anything better.

And oh yeah, as we live nearby, this is for My World Tuesday.


The umbrella shop

A detail of what was once an umbrella shop, on the Ramblas


American soda

A popular watering place on the Rambla.


Sweets for my sweet…

Where once there had been many florist stalls, newsagents, pet shops, souvenir stalls, the Ramblas are now filling up with sweet shops. Dangerous!

And as we’re having elections in Catalunya this weekend, many parties put up stalls as well. More about this soon. Meanwhile, have a sweet or 2!


Rambla del Raval

La Rambla del Raval is the center of the Raval area of the old town. This is very close to where we live. Nice place for a kebab or a mint tea, or a chat amongst friends! It is also here that you can find Botero’s Cat, El Gat.


Let’s tidy up the mess!

…or so the city fathers must be thinking.
The Ramblas is the most touristic place in Barcelona. It is a long promenade, around a mile long, crowded with tourist, flower shops, caricaturists, pet shops, cafes, restaurants and street entertainers.
I walked down the Ramblas a few weeks ago, and counted almost 40 living statues, living deads, guys with no head, fake Marilyns, panda bears and other strange creatures. Now, the city has decided it would be nice to include the Ramblas in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. So, how can we do that? Easy: let’s tidy up the mess! Therefore, 10 flower stalls will become one. And the street entertainers, the living statues? Well, they will have to pass a test proving their skills (the first one moving is out???), and their numbers will be reduced. There will be 15 designated spots. 15 entertainers will be allowed to perform from 10 AM till 4 PM, and 15 more from 4PM till 10 PM. Problem: what will happen to the other ones, the less skilled, the ones that moved during selection? They will join the 20.5 percent unemployed in Spain. Easy.

As for the touareg on the photo: buena suerte, amigo, best of luck to you, my friend.


Le dimanche, mangeons des crepes!

It is sunday, perfect day for some crepes, french pancakes!
This is the french guy who is making and selling them at the Boqueria market on the Ramblas. My favorite? Nutella, bananas and whipped cream. What is yours?
Well, actually, every day should be crepes day!


Talking heads?

Well, at least one of them is, talking that is. More street entertainers on the Ramblas, this never ending source of photos..


Breaking news: alien attack on the Rambla!

Sigourney Weaver must be in town…
Sorry about the photo being slightly blured, I was busy running away.


Break time

I don’t think I could be a street entertainer. Many hours without moving, sweating in a heavy costume, being ignored. Gonna keep my day job.


Boqueria market

Fruit is good for you!


Blessed by an angel…

This is what happened… Walking down the ramblas to go shopping, I was blessed by this angel. Hope the same will happen to all of you! There are angels around you, just find them! Come on, it’s easy!

4 hours later: good news, the blessing worked, we have internet. Gosh, got a lot of catch up to do!


Casa dels Paraigues, the umbrella house

The Casa Bruno Quadras (or Cuadros) was built in 1883, a few years before the 1888 Universal Exhibition in Barcelona. The architect Josep Vilaseca combined the prior style of modernisme with all kinds of architectural elements inspired by other cultures in an eclectic building which amazes everyone who walks along La Rambla. The Casa Bruno Cuadros’s balconies and the top-floor gallery are replete with Egyptian imagery. The façade features elaborate sgraffito work and stained-glass windows as well as reliefs of umbrellas and fans made of cast-iron. Orientalist motifs impregnate the outer walls which features intricate carpentry, enamelled glass and paintings of people taken from Japanese prints. The Casa Bruno Cuadros’s most opulent decorative element is the ornate Chinese dragon on the corner of the façade. It was used to advertise the shop, together with the umbrella below it. The building was refurbished in 1980, and a bank now has its premises in the stunning umbrella shop of Barcelona.

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Post 365: the victim?

A relative newcomer on the Rambla scene, the golden boy. The victim. Depending on the time frame, he could be a victim of either King Midas, or of Goldfinger. Or, more likely, just another fashion victim.

This is our 365th post, the final post in our first year. Tomorrow, may 10th, we’ll celebrate, and start a new year! After the chinese new year, the Barcelona Nuevo Año!


theme of the month: statues

1st of may. Happy day to all workers out there, specially to those actually working today. I just wish it didn’t fall on a saturday.
Anyway, theme day today: Statues. Which is a bit bad for me, as I showed you my favorite statues in Barcelona, the giant lobster, Botero’s ‘Gat’ and ‘el cul’ several times already. So…. Barcelona is famous for it’s living statues on the Rambla. Here is one, announcing spring a few weeks ago.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


White


I hope everybody had a nice long weekend, whether you celebrate Easter, Pesach, or just a good time off.

We saw a lot of red lately, so let’s have some refreshing white. One of the nicer ways of seing Barcelona is by horse carriage. Most of the horses doing the tours are brown, so it was a nice surprise to see this pair.

And here they go. Notice the guy’s hat and sweater! He is in harmony with his horses!


Planting time, girls!

Still no internet, thanks God, there are internet places everywhere!

Spring! Planting time! Did you already plant something this year? What will it be? Carrots or roses, daffodils or spinach?

We have a small strawberry plantation. Yummy!

Update, 20.22: we have a new router! Here it is!


Artists!

I admire these artists on the Rambla, not just for their skill, but also, and maybe mostly, for their patience. Sitting there for hours, waiting for clients, in the cold, in the heat, in the often very crowded Rambla. A job for saints…
And hasn’t she got a big nose… Oops, sorry: it’s a caricature!


Colon at night

The Christopher Columbus tower at the bottom of the Ramblas last night, in a tropical environment suited for him. His Spanish name is Cristobal Colon.

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Rambla del Raval

La Rambla del Raval, yesterday afternoon. The Raval is a part of the old town also know as Ravalistan, due to the high number of Pakistanis living in the area. In the 1920es, it was known as Chinatown…
Anyway, 2 policemen on duty are watching, so that nobody graffities Botero’s Cat, further down on the square. Spanish police uniforms are quite fierce, they look more like paratroopers than like your friendly neighborhood cop.

Here is the same picture after playing a bit with it.

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Angels and demons…

…and other strange creatures are to be found almost everyday on the Ramblas. A little assortment of them.
For those who don’t know, the Ramblas are large avenues, former riverbeds in fact, very nice places for a stroll in the sun.


Vampires in Barcelona/ Vampires a Barcelone

Here is the story… You are a perfectly innocent passerby (are you really?), looking for nothing in particular, just walking down the Ramblas, enjoying the day.
Or maybe you are looking for a bit of excitment.
You might be new here, maybe a tourist. You’ve heard that Barcelona is a city that never sleeps.
And then this: you’re attacked by some vampires lurking on the streets or in the protection of some conveniently situated coffin.

And you smile, thinking they are just some more street entertainers.

But are they really???????????

Alors voila. Vous etes a Barcelone, vous profitez d’ une semaine de vacances bien meritees. Vous vous promenez sur les Ramblas, ne pensant a rien de special. Il fait chaud, vous devez avoir soif.

Et soudain, vous etes attaque par des vampires!
Et vous souriez, pensant qu’ ils sont des statues vivantes, communes sur les Ramblas.

Mais le sont ils vraiment?????


Not before I’m ready!

One can only admire these living statues on the Rambla! They stand or sit there for hours, not moving, in the heat, in the cold, waiting for someone to drop a coin in the basket or hat, but being mostly ignored. Ignored, laughed at, but mostly ignored.
As there are always at least 25-30 of them on the Rambla, I suppose it is worthwhile. Not sure if I would have the strength or the patience to do it.
If you want to see another of those street entertainers, here is one I posted a long time ago.


Window shopping: India?

My wife treated me to a nice Pakistani reataurant last friday night. Nice food!
Anyway, en route to the Shalimar, we went down the Ramblas, the main tourist area in the city center, and passed in front of one of the many many souvenir shops (fans, Tshirts with different “funny”texts, ashtrays, etc). This one was different… Next to some Rosina Wachtmeister cats (in a future posting!), they were selling this. Quite a surprise to find this here, even though there are approximately 28.ooo Indians living in Catalunya!


Escriba

Escriba, finca de pastas alimenticias. Founded in 1820. It is situated a short distance from the Boqueria market, still on the Ramblas. It is today a fine food and pastry shop. Both pastries and shop front look gorgeous! Today, I’ll show you the shop front, the pastries will come later, I promise!

It is a rather posh shop. LOL!


Michael!


I’m afraid I’ve never been a huge fan of Michael Jackson, although I remember having a Jackson 5 poster in my bedroom in my early teens. And I actually quite like his older songs.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I came upon some 50 people doing the moonwalk on the Ramblas. They were all wearing a single white glove, and a Tshirt saying, in English: one small step for Jacko, one big step for mankind.
Was quite funny to watch. The press people were there as well, almost as many as the actual moon walkers.

And on the side, there was this guy, with pictures of MJ tattooed on his back and both his calves. He definitely is a fan!

So, that’s my posting for today. Tomorrow, I promise you heaven and hell! Stay tuned, friends!



Drink, anyone?
Photo taken in the Boqueria, the big old market on the Ramblas.


Summer

It really feels like summer today, and I have a bit of a fresh fruit craving.

I took this photo a while back, in my favourite market in town, la Boqueria, just off the Ramblas. The variety, and the quality, are just great. Good place to hang out, just watching stalls, people, the world go by…


Very public toilet!


Flowers of the Ramblas

You can find all sort of things on the Ramblas, street entertainers, restaurants, pet shops (mostly birds and rabbits), people walking around, tourists, etc.
And you can also find quite a few flower stands. Here is one which had a particularly nice presentation. Enjoy!
I’ ll come back to the Ramblas later.